CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan returned to Penguins practice Friday, five days after the death of his father, George. In Sullivan’s stead, assistant coaches Jacques Martin and Mark Recchi handled the coaching chores in practice, in the Penguins first preseason game Tuesday in Buffalo and their second game in Detroit, Wednesday.
• The Penguins were off yesterday.
• Sullivan was close with his father, often joking that his dad, who was his first coach, was still coaching him. Sullivan shared the Stanley Cup celebrations with his then-80-year-old dad. Sunday, Mark Recchi recounted getting to know Mr. Sullivan in the Stanley Cup celebrations, including a house party.
“We were on the deck smoking cigars. He was loving life,” said Recchi.
Mr. Sullivan was present for the 2017 Stanley Cup victory, as well. Though he was in a wheelchair. Mr. Sullivan was 81.
• Riley Sheahan, who hasn’t yet participated in training camp due to an upper body injury, skated before practice again Friday. He also skated before the team on Wednesday.
• Derick Brassard, who missed the camp scrimmages due to illness has returned to the team.
• The Penguins trimmed their roster to 45 yesterday.
• Today, they reshuffled the camp teams. Interesting note–Derek Grant, who signed a one-year $650,000 NHL contract in July, is on the team with the expected minor league players. Zach Aston-Reese is on the NHL team.
— Penguins PR (@PenguinsPR) September 21, 2018
• Casey DeSmith is the backup to Matt Murray while Jarry was placed on Team 2, as well.
• There are new pairings at practice, too. Note Schultz with Oleksiak and Johnson on the right side with Maatta.
• Follow on Twitter–Our Shelly Anderson is covering practice.